CLINTONVILLE — The AuSable Valley Patriots put up three touchdowns against Moriah in Friday’s first half and took a lead into halftime for the first time this season.
In the second half, the Vikings held AuSable Valley off the scoreboard and turned a couple of its drives into points for themselves.
The Moriah defense came up with two safeties and a fumble recovery after halftime to help secure a 32-21 win in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football.
“We didn’t make adjustments; we just told them, ‘You have to step up defensively,’” Moriah coach Don Tesar said. “We put our same personnel out there in the same spots, and this time they reacted to it and played much better. They attacked more than what they did in the first half.
“(The Patriots) were able to run plays off, they got us reeling (in the firs half). They played an exceptional first half against us.”
The Vikings (3-3) cut their deficit to 21-18 just over two minutes into the third quarter, when a snap sailed over AuSable Valley quarterback Kodie Simpson’s head and he was tackled in his own end zone after recovering it.
Moriah then put together a 65-yard drive that ended with Cameron Wright running the ball in from 8 yards out to put his team ahead, 24-21.
Late in the third, Simpson had to chase down another wayward snap, and the Vikings caught him in the end zone again. Tesar said after scouting AuSable Valley last week, he told his defense to be aware of erratic snaps when the Patriots were in the shotgun.
AuSable Valley coach Heith Ford attributed the misfires to a wrist injury that his center is playing through.
After Moriah’s Richie Stockwell recovered a fumble in the fourth, Wright put the game away with a 3-yard score — his third touchdown of the night.